«Reconstructions,» the title chosen for the wintersemester, is not meant in a technical sense – the kunstraum will stay as it is for now. Instead, at kunstraum lakeside we will be inquiring in to major and minor issues involving political changes in social structures. Prompting our investigations are the ongoing revolutions of the Arab Spring, but also the latent upheavals at the center of Europe, which provide a prime opportunity for a closer examination of the concept of democracy. How is democracy lived out today? What kind of potential does revolutionary peace bring? What do the local people here in Carinthia mean when they speak of democracy? According to the sociologist Axel Honneth, the «pathology» of modern society lies in the fact that our Western institutions falter when trying to practice their enlightenment mission, or end up acting against their original intentions.


This is the juncture at which Oliver Ressler’s investigations begin; he has been working for years on projects about democracy, economy, racism, forms of resistance and social alternatives. In «Whatis Democracy?» he poses the same set of questions to activists and political analysts in 18 ­different cities. The interviews demonstrate the perspectives and standpoints of people in countries that are normally described as democracies. This lived theory of democracy in the global fieldforms today a compelling springboard for continuing this discourse at the kunstraum.

Anna Jermolaewa’s films draw on a direct and powerful pictorial vocabulary culled from quotidian existence. Recently, the artist has chosen to focus on her background as an immigrant. «Aleksandra Wysokinska/20 YearsLater» and «Research for a Sleeping Position» are two examples of her nascent at tempts to work through a personal biography shaped by the major changes in international political geographies over the past 20 years. The concept of being on the go, of movement and obstacles encountered along the way, is just one of her themes.

Getting going and taking back the public sphere are also at issue in another program point: Silvia Eiblmayr will conduct an interview with Isabella Hollauf to mark the presentation of the artist’s book «Erholungsräume,» which explores the utopian potentials of publicly designed spaces in Eastern and Western Europe. Hollauf’s examination commences at a time when visionary dreams and the ­mission to design places for the common good were still an important factor, when exclusion and the privatization of the public realm had not yet been defined as political goals. She works with the strategy of juxtaposition, confronting then and now, ex­pectations and desires, with today’s reality.

The exhibition «366 Rituals» by Igor Grubić examines the aesthetic of the social space. His interventions, which the artist refers to as «rituals,» draw on actions already formulated by the «Group of Six» active in Zagreb in the 1970s and, like them, challenge society to react. Grubić intervenes by making barely noticeable changes in places where societal problems come to the surface, and he tends to ­pursue emotional rather than intellectual impulses in his actions.

At the end of the semester we will show the videoexperiment «[abschatten]» by Markus Brandstätter, who last year set off in search of «shadowed» existences in Klagenfurt, lives that, for various reasons, stray from the standard rules of society. He also draws in his experiment on his cinematographic skills and philosophical knowledge.


Christian Kravagna, Hedwig Saxenhuber